The Dark Side of the 1960s

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

On March 21, 1967, Charles Manson was released from prison. He had spent about half of his life behind bars at this point. He told authorities that he did not think he could adjust to the outside world. He asked to stay.

But they released him anyway. He arrived in San Francisco to live, and just in time to experience the Summer of Love. And he started recruiting his Manson Family.

Here is a collage of images of the Manson Family.

The Manson Family moved to Southern California, to an old ranch that was used to film cowboy movies. Charlie wanted to become a rock star. He met Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. And through Wilson he met rock producer Terry Melcher, who produced hits for the Byrds. Charlie thought that this was his ticket to stardom.

On August 9, 1969, Manson Family members arrived at what used to be Terry Melcher’s home. Actress Sharon Tate and her husband were living there. And that night, she had some friends visiting. Her husband, Roman Polanski, was in Europe. Tate was eight and a half months pregnant. All five people in the house were killed by the Manson Family. There did not seem to be a direct motive for the murders. But one speculation is that Charlie was upset with Melcher for not signing him to a recording contract.

On the next night, the Manson Family members murdered Rosemary and Leno La Bianca in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. It is believed that Charlie and his Family had attended a party at a neighbor’s home the year before the murders.

One Manson Family Member was Leslie Van Houten. She was convicted of the murders of the La Biancas in 1971. She was denied the parole she repeatedly requested 19 times.

On April 14, 2016, at her 20th request, the two-person California Parole Board granted her request. But Governor Jerry Brown vetoed her release. And on December 21, 2016, the California Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal of an 18-page ruling from Los Angeles County Superior Court judge upholding the governor’s reversal of the Parole Board’s decision. Van Houten was 19 years old when the murders were committed. This August Van Houten will be 68 years old.

Charlie is currently 82 years old. He is also eligible for parole hearings. He was denied parole for the 12th time in 2012. At that time, it was determined that his “mental health” issues made him “too great a danger to be released.” His next parole hearing is scheduled for 2027. He will be 92 years old.

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